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Hi fellas, I'm looking for some advice on how to protect & finish the weldment areas on a 48"x24"x3/4" mild steel plate table. (see photos)

There was quite an impressive layer of mill scale on the 3/4" plate to grind off. After MIG welding 2x2 and 4x4 square tube to the plate I now am concerned with protecting these areas from rust. I do not want the raw steel susceptible to rust while I figure out a solution so for now I have coated with a blend of 50/50 BLO/Turp.

I am not a fan of the unfinished raw look, aesthetically I would prefer to darken the grind areas, so the one time in my life someone bends down and looks under the hood they won't laugh.

This being my first fabrication table build I was hoping for advice on techniques. I have access to an oxy-fuel torch for heat, but my concern with the 3/4" plate is that I will never be able to get it hot enough in a reasonable time/cost.

I've read (on this forum) the idea of shoe polish. My questions would be:

  1. If I do nothing to these areas what will happen over time? 
  2. Is the 50/50 BLO/Turp a "good enough" solution over time?
  3. Black shoe polish?
  4. Is there a better trick here on how to finish this bottom area of the table? It won't be seen directly so my primary concern is rust protection.

Thanks and cheers.

table_2.jpg

table_1.jpg

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Looks like a sturdy, well built work bench. Will it be kept indoors or outside? I would probably just paint the underside and leave the work surface as is, if it is going to be used for welding, grinding etc. 

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Thank you for your time Jonny and Thomas. 5 minutes after I posted I thought "maybe I should just paint the bottom...". :blink:

The table will remain indoors and roll on casters around the shop. The top I will occasionally tack jigs and such, and it will see hot steel off the anvil and grinding sparks. 

Black engine enamel paint seems like my likely route for the underside.

Any advice on how to best remove the application of BLO/Turp currently protecting it?

Thank you sirs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks again for pointing me to paint and reminding me of KISS. I went with flat black enamel for the underbelly but left the top alone aside from cleaning the mill scale.

For fun, here are photos of the finished table. Weighing in at 650#, 37" OAH, 24"x48"x3/4" top, 1/4" plate shelf, 4" sq.tube for legs (sand filled) and 2" sq.tube for support.

If anyone is interested in WIP photos or the CAD plans for the table I would be happy to share.

The tools that built it now have a new home.

Cheers!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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